On the Water 2020

Friday 3rd July 2020 · 21

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W hat a year 2020 has been for marine enthusiasts so far! Just as a truly exquisite spring arrived - with weather for boating not far from perfect - so of course did the now infamous Coronavirus and subsequent national lockdown. The quarantines imposed at the end of March had an immediate impact on the sailing & motor boating community. There were no chilly sailors to be found debriefing in the pub after a race, instead replaced with images of world-famous sailing locations lacking sails or superyachts; and yachts left on their moorings waiting for owners to return. Absent were the colourful dinghy sails, the purr of engines along the river or the plethora of kayaks, canoes and dinghies usually out in force over the weekends – instead swathes of facemasks and gloves, the new ‘in Vogue’ canvas. Whilst this has been an uncertain time, Hampshire has navigated through the tricky waters of Covid-19 with aplomb. The boating community in particular did not disappoint in the effort to assist

our key workers and NHS. From sailmaker’s lofts manufacturing vast number of scrubs and PPE bags for Covid-ward NHS staff; to small bakeries (usually supply- ing snacks to hungry water-borne folk) instead producing countless sweet good- ies as a pick-me-up for key staff. A large international racing team in Portsmouth used their advanced boat-building technology and 3D printing machinery to make face shields free-of-charge to local hospitals; their team doctor also lead- ing a ‘red-zone’ Coronavirus clinic. Devoid of ventilators, the palliative care team at Lymington’s modern hospital contributed enormously to a very high success rate in returning patients to their homes. We applaud everyone involved. Numerous businesses repurposed their facilities to produce much needed supplies and PPE to assist our hospitals. Community groups sprang up to main- tain morale and look after the vulnerable in our county. The lockdown truly brought out the best in some of our sailing friends. Happily, the lockdown restrictions began to ease in May and a return to the water became imminent. What better way to socially distance in a relaxed manner than to head out to the South Coast and enjoy the peace and tran- quillity of the rivers and sea? With guidelines from the RYA, DEFRA, British

Marine and The Yacht Harbour Association – not to mention counselling from the Coastguard and RNLI to take extra precautions - marinas along the coast prepared themselves for a return to boating. A tentative optimism is now felt throughout the Lymington boating commu- nity. The threat of Coronavirus remains and we are encouraged to stay vigilant; however sailing, motorboating and enjoyment of the water has become a much needed reprieve from the news cycle. Indeed, getting out onto the water has become a new hobby for many who may not have considered it before. Companies up and down the coast have reported record sales of small powerboats, canoes, RIBs, jet skis, paddleboards – and much, much more, as our community turns to outdoor pursuits. Beach clean-ups around Lymington’s various shores have been organised, the quieter waters have seen a return of rare species to our shallows and whilst this lockdown has been exceptionally trying; we hope it has encouraged a new appreciation and respect for the water and all it has to offer. Theodora Franks | Berthon

Getting back on the water Royal Lymington Yacht Club

W e sailors rise to a challenge. There are plenty of us who have weathered gales and had our courage tested by the sea. Dealing with what’s thrown (or blown!) at you defines the sailing com- munity and so it was as the good ship ‘Nick Cox Yacht Chandler’ adapted to the Covid storm. Trading trickled along during the lockdown as our convenience store provided an essential food service to the Lymington locals. We always keep a good selection of every day food, alcohol and household items in stock. It was our pleasure to offer a free local home delivery service on groceries, especially to those who were shielding. Chandlery remained in demand as those working on maintenance projects – boat and house looked to us to source their items. In all we made in excess of 500 local de- liveries in our afternoons of chan- dlery and groceries during the lockdown period. By mid-May as boating resumed, we introduced a click and collect service in-store and pressed on with preparations to make our- selves Covid secure under the guidelines. All the necessary retail safety measures are now in place so you can shop with us in confi- dence. We also have a Click and

Collect option available through our website or over the phone. Finally on the 15th June we shook the final reefs out of the main and re-opened complete- ly, including our upstairs clothing area with a wide selection of wet- suits and summer sailing gear to suit all types of watersports. To celebrate, you can enjoy at least 15% off all clothing, footwear and sailing boots. We have in stock now a fantastic selection of chandlery and mainte- nance products, including cleaning products, antifouling paint, an- odes, fenders, and 12V batteries. Throughout this period, the Nick Cox crew have been amazing, though that is no surprise - they al- ways are. We have been heartened by the support of our incredible friends and customers and we are deeply grateful to each and every- one one of you, thank you. As the storm blows through and the skies begin to brighten for now, we look forward to welcoming you back in store and some glorious days at sea. Note our revised opening hours whilst social distancing remains in place: Monday – Saturday 8am to 4.30pm Sunday 8am to 1pm

Nick Cox Chandler

Lymington Harbour now open for business

T he Royal Lymington Yacht Club is success- ful on the water and friendly and welcoming ashore. The lifeblood of any yacht club is the shared enjoyment of its Members in getting afloat often with family, friends and competitors. The easing of Government Covid-19 restrictions has allowed the RLymYC to take a considered approach to safely re-opening its Clubhouse and restarting its activ- ities. The Club is now welcoming Members old and new, to enjoy its great location, facilities and cama- raderie at the bar whilst observing Government guidelines. RLymYC Commodore, Roger Garlick said: “It is heartening to finally see white sails back on the Solent with Members of all ages afloat, either sailing single handed, with their household or in a bubble, having fun. As sailors cau- tiously return to the water, I would encourage Members and potential Members to check our website, www.rlymyc.org.uk for details of our updated sailing and social pro- gramme. The Club will be celebrat- ing its Centenary in 2022 is already planning a varied programme of events for that important year.“ In a normal year the Club would run over 200 days of organised sailing, around 400 races and more than a dozen events, which can attract up to 800 entrants. The Club looks forward to a full sail- ing programme in 2021, including the highly successful Thursday Night Racing Series supported by Spencers Estate Agents. The regular cruising calendar includes a wide range of UK and

international events throughout the year for motorboats, ribs and sailing yachts organised by the Cruising Division. Due to the impact of Covid-19 this year the first potential event will be Junior Race Week (August 17-21). Junior and Youth Membership benefits from high quality coach- ing and training in nationally and internationally successful fleets of Optimists, 29ers, Teras, Fevas, Lasers and 420s – many of our Club Members achieve exceptional standards of performance. To help under 8 year olds to join in Club life ‘Shipmates’ offers member families with young chil- dren free support on the water and activities ashore. Wednesday Junior Sailing is an award-winning local commu- nity initiative that has introduced thousands of children from local schools to the fun of sailing for just £1.00 per session since 1980. Covid-19 concerns have cancelled this year’s programme. The Club warmly welcomes those who are interested in the water and would like to become Members. It is not essential for Members to have their own boats as the Club has a dinghy fleet available for hire – including, pad- dleboards, supported by qualified RYA instructors. There is no joining fee for those under 40 years old and subscrip- tions may be paid monthly. The Club is now accepting appli- cations for Membership. If you are interested in find- ing out more please visit the Club website; rlymyc.org.uk/Membership or contact membership@rlymyc.org.uk for further information.

F ollowing the COVID-19 lockdown and further to the Prime Ministers recent announcement, we are delighted to con- firm that we are now open for business and taking bookings for over- night visitor stays from Saturday 4th July. This will be the first opportunity for visiting crews to experience our new Town Quay pontoon facil- ity which was completed in March. The new facility incorporates 46 dedicated walk ashore pontoon berths (including 26 finger berths), all with power, water and Wi-Fi. The revised layout also incorpo- rates 32 fore and aft visitor moor- ings. Although initially the number of visiting boats will be restricted due to Covid-19 safety measures, we look forward to the time when we can use this facility to its full potential. Seen as the ‘gateway’ to the Solent, Lymington is both steeped

in yachting history and with its proximity to the New Forest, is an attractive destination for visiting boats from Britain and Europe and this investment to increase and modernise our walk ashore berths is expected to benefit the local tourist economy by over £1.1m over the next ten years. As well as improving the visitor facilities, the scheme enlarged the commercial landing which will allow bigger boats and more frequent visits from pleasure cruise craft that bring day trip tourists from destinations such as Yarmouth and Cowes. The project also relocated the commercial fishing boat berths, providing better segregation between commercial and leisure boat activities, and upgraded 24 moorings reserved for local resi- dents to pontoon berths. Lymington Harbour, a not for profit trust port sees the £620k investment as a crucial part of its wider sustainability and develop- ment programme that is further supported by research from the British Marine Association who

highlight how the marine sector has created close to £6bn in sales from boating related tourism expenditure in 2018, a 65% growth since 2013. With a vibrant weekly Saturday market, a bustling high street home to award winning restau- rants and independent shops along with a regular calendar of summer events, the Harbour’s investment in the Quay is likely to open up even more opportunities for events and community based projects, an area the Town Council is keen to develop. “We are really delighted with this investment in our sailing facilities. Which, along with the shore side improvements will certainly push Lymington to the forefront of sail- ing in the UK. Along with the rede- velopment of the Quay later this year, will really make our beautiful town the perfect destination for both sailors, visitors and locals, which will certainly boost the local economy”. Councillor Anne Corbridge Mayor of Lymington.

Royal Lymington Yacht Club

New for 2020

46 new walk ashore berths at Town Quay – right in the heart of town All berths with power, water and free WiFi

“Lymington River and its approaches offer a safe haven for yachtsmen. We have a beautiful river and harbour area, and we pride ourselves on offering a friendly welcome to all.” Ryan Willegers, Harbour Master

Only a step away... Charming Harbour with First Class Mooring Facilities

No entry fees for applicants aged 39 & younger Subscriptions can be paid annually, quarterly or monthly Activities on and off the water for all ages

Beautiful Georgian Town & Historic Market

Fantastic Dining Experiences

New Forest Walks & Cycling

Find out more: www.lymingtonharbour.co.uk info@lymingtonharbour.co.uk 01590672014

Let’sgetsocial

contact our membership secretary for more information membership@rlymyc.org.uk or 01590 672677

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